Leading on Sustainability, Building a Sustainable Future
In its Global Risks Report 2021, the World Economic Forum cited climate action failure and biodiversity as among the biggest long-term risks for humanity, and infectious diseases present the biggest “clear and present danger.” The risks of livelihood crises and asset bubble bursts also cannot be ignored, which is why dealing appropriately with these issues and promoting sustainability stand out as important challenges for the financial sector. Given that ESG is an important priority for any company, Fubon Financial Holdings launched the “ESG Visioning Project” in 2015 to join with society in confronting bigger and more daunting threats and spreading positive energy to help make the world a better place.
Fubon Financial Holdings’ performance on sustainability issues has received widespread recognition internationally. In 2020, Fubon became Taiwan’s first financial holding company to make the Carbon Disclosure Project’s climate change “A” list and Supplier Engagement Leaderboard, and was selected to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices’ top index, the DJSI World Index, for a fourth consecutive year. It was named as a constituent of the MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes for a fifth consecutive year and received an “AA” MSCI ESG rating in the Life & Health Insurance category. Fubon also ranked first in the insurance industry in Sustainalytics’ ESG risk ratings. These many accolades inspire us to work even harder to forge a sustainable future, build a consensus on ESG, and create a common good.
The COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe in 2020, leading to unprecedented panic and uncertainty in many countries, and out-of-control carbon emissions are creating a climate emergency. Taiwan, for example, is facing its most serious drought in 56 years, and scenes from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” seemingly played out in Texas in February 2021. The financial sector has an important role to play in achieving sustainability goals, as highlighted by the United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance. The alliance has boldly committed to transitioning investment portfolios to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, hoping to leverage the power of capital markets to accelerate the shift toward low carbon practices.
Though this represents a massive challenge, achieving the goal is not out of the realm of possibility. The key is taking action. 2021 is Fubon’s 60th anniversary, and as one of Taiwan’s leading companies we face bigger challenges and added responsibility to do our part. At this critical juncture, corporate accountability has never been a higher priority, and Fubon Financial Holdings has introduced a new Fubon Sustainability Vision Blueprint that focuses on four ESG strategies – decarbonization, digitalization, empowerment and connection – and sets goals for 2025. The blueprint reflects Fubon’s determination to fulfill its commitment to sustainable practices.
Helping customers go sustainable: Fubon envisions becoming a green finance accelerator through its “decarbonization” strategy by driving the value chain’s transition to more sustainable practices. Taipei Fubon Bank ranks No. 1 among Taiwanese banks in wind power-related loans and was the first bank to introduce “sustainability-linked loans.” Fubon Asset Management was the first domestic asset management company to issue both active and passive managed sustainability-oriented funds, using products to drive customer awareness of sustainability. Fubon Insurance has supported the development of the green energy industry and emerged as Taiwan’s biggest guardian of the sector.
Providing the best financial services: Launching innovative products and services in response to social needs is at the heart of our “digitalization” strategy. During the pandemic, Taipei Fubon Bank’s deft application of financial expertise and digital technology in support of economic relief and stimulus measures earned a top ranking by the Financial Supervisory Commission for efficiency in implementing both its own and public relief measures. Fubon Life and Fubon Insurance were the first to introduce epidemic-related coverage for both companies and individuals, helping people deal with the risk of being quarantined during an outbreak. Fubon Insurance continued to roll out innovative agriculture and aquaculture insurance products, adding parametric rain insurance in 2020 to offer even more comprehensive protection to customers.
Fostering a friendly, healthy workplace: The “empowerment” is a manifestation of an empowering organizational culture and an important strategy in Fubon’s effort to foster a friendly, healthy, and happy workplace. In 2020, 82% of employees participated in an employee opinion survey, the highest ever, and the employee engagement score was 75 out of 100. In Asiamoney’s “Leaders for Women Survey,” Fubon ranked No. 1 among banks in Taiwan for the most women employees as a percentage of the total staff, establishing it as a corporate benchmark in Asia for gender-friendly practices.
Connecting society’s positive forces: Fubon Financial Holdings’ main philanthropic platform consists of its four foundations, and it leverages the resources of its subsidiaries to support its “connection” strategy aimed at harnessing society’s positive forces. Education promotion, health promotion and care for vulnerable groups are all key areas of engagement, and employee volunteerism is encouraged to benefit society. In the post-pandemic era, Fubon is shifting some of its in-person public welfare activities online to expand its philanthropic reach.
Since getting its start in 1961, Fubon has stood with Taiwan and its people through 60 years of ups and downs. We have experienced several external challenges and changes and witnessed the rise and fall of different industries, but we have always operated honestly and stressed positive thinking to develop our business and pursue stable growth. Today, Fubon provides a wide variety of financial products and services through its life insurance, banking, property and casualty insurance, securities, and asset management units to more than 12.3 million customers, and has more than NT$9 trillion in assets. Its vision remains to become one of Asia’s first-class financial institutions.
In the future, as Fubon Financial Holdings seeks further avenues for business growth, it will also continue to promote its ESG Visioning Project through its four key sustainability strategies founded on the brand spirit “Be positive, All possible.” Action plans tied to Fubon’s core competencies will be developed to exert a positive financial impact, and we look forward to working with all of society to achieve a sustainable future.